AmaWaterways Celebrates its Newest European Ship in Scenic Vilshofen, Germany
CALABASAS, Calif., Aug. 6, 2013 -- Award-winning river cruise line AmaWaterways christened
its newest ship in Vilshofen, Germany today, amid great fanfare
provided by dancers, singers, musicians, stilt walkers and other local
performers. The highlight of the event was the traditional christening
of the AmaPrima by its honorary godmother, Valerie Wilson, founder,
chairman and CEO of NYC-based Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc.
"Almost everyone in Vilshofen played some kind of role in the AmaPrima's
christening ceremony today," noted Kristin Karst, AmaWaterways'
executive vice president and co-owner. "We couldn't have asked for a
more supportive or festive atmosphere, or for a warmer welcome for our
godmother, Valerie Wilson. It's been a simply wonderful day for all
The afternoon festivities kicked off with rousing oom-pah music
performed by a local band, and costumed stilt walkers who moved amongst
the crowd gathered along the banks of the Danube River. As the AmaPrima
cruised into port, the Triumphal March from Verdi's opera "Aida" played
over loudspeakers and artillery experts shot ceremonial gun salutes from
the top deck of the ship. AmaWaterways' Manager of European Operations,
Wade Korzan, served as Master of Ceremonies and greeted the
enthusiastic onlookers, local dignitaries, river cruise executives,
journalists and passengers. Kristin Karst and AmaWaterways' president
and co-owner President Rudi Schreiner made speeches, as did Valerie
Wilson and Vilshofen Mayor Georg Krenn.
Wilson christened the AmaPrima in the time-honored tradition, breaking a
bottle of Champagne against the ship's hull. Amid a chorus of cheers
and applause, doves were released into the sky as the Vilshofen Fire
Department sprayed a plume of water high over the river.
Other highlights included a special blessing of the ship by a local
pastor, songs by soprano Heidlinde Schmid and an Indiana Jones-like
whipcracking demonstration (a Bavarian tradition). Children from a
folkloric club performed traditional dances and presented the Vilshofen
flag to the AmaPrima's captain, Jan de Bruin, who also signed the town's
ceremonial "Golden Book" along with other VIPs in attendance.
The tradition of christening a ship originated more than 4,000 years
ago. A respected and well-known woman is selected to serve as a new
ship's honorary "godmother," entrusted with blessing the vessel to
ensure the safety of its passengers and crew. The AmaPrima's godmother,
Valerie Wilson, heads one of the largest privately owned and
family-managed travel agencies in the United States. She has been
honored with many prestigious awards, serves on numerous advisory boards
and has shared her expertise with readers of The Wall Street Journal,
The New York Times, Town & Country and Travel + Leisure, among
others. She is also the author of "Valerie Wilson's World...The Top
Hotels & Resorts."
The AmaPrima, a sister ship to the award-winning AmaCerto (2012), is a
deluxe164-feet passenger vessel that incorporates such innovative design
features as Twin Balconies (an AmaWaterways exclusive) and spacious
staterooms that measure up to 350 sq. feet. Guests also enjoy Chaine des
Rotisseurs culinary creations with unlimited fine wine and beer, a
choice of dining venues, a heated pool with swim-up bar, massage and
beauty salon, fitness studio, and complimentary in-room Internet,
Infotainment and Wi-Fi. The AmaPrima even carries a fleet of bicycles on
board so guests can enjoy Europe's scenic riverside bike paths on their
The AmaPrima will serve the Dutch and Belgium Waterways and the Danube
and Rhine Rivers on 10 itineraries: Tulip Time Cruise; The Romantic
Danube; Melodies of the Danube; The Legendary Danube; Blue Danube
Discovery; Black Sea Voyage; Magnificent Europe; Grand Danube Cruise;
Christmas Time Cruise; and Great Capitals & Vintages of the Danube.
For more information on AmaWaterways, please visit www.amawaterways.com.
AmaWaterways' European fleet includes AmaReina (2014); AmaSonata (2014);
AmaPrima (2013); AmaCerto (2012); AmaVerde (2011); AmaBella (2010);
AmaLyra (2009); AmaDolce (2009); AmaCello (2008), AmaDante (2008);
AmaLegro (2007) and AmaDagio (2006). The line's newest ships feature
Twin Balcony Staterooms, multiple dining venues, complimentary in-room
Internet and Infotainment, a heated swimming pool or whirlpool, plus
many more unique design elements. The company's AmaVoyages division has a
fleet of five ships: AmaVida (2013) on the Douro River in Portugal;
AmaLotus (2011) and La Marguerite (2009) on the Mekong in Vietnam and
Cambodia; AmaKatarina (rebuilt 2011) on the Volga in Russia; and the
Zambezi Queen (2009) on the Chobe in Botswana.